Using a Transformative Paradigm Research Approach to Investigate Guidance and Counselling Service in Papua New Guinea Schools
AbstractSince the introduction of school guidance and counseling services in Papua New Guinea (PNG) schools in the 1970s little has changed. A limited number of Guidance Officers (GOs) each look after a large number of secondary schools. Consequently they only have time to administer a bank of Australian Council for Education Research (ACER) aptitude tests to grade 11 students and provide limited career guidance to year 12 students. This means that more than one million school aged children in PNG miss out on adequate guidance and counselling services, with any support they do receive being provided by untrained school personnel. This comparative study using a transformative paradigm research approach will explore guidance and counselling service in PNG and Australia with a particular focus on services available to schools in Goroka (PNG) and in Townsville (Queensland, Australia). Townsville has been identified as an ideal location because of Australia’s political history and its legacies in many systems of government (including the education system), economic practices and social life in PNG. Another factor is the researcher’s location as a post graduate student at the James Cook University in Townsville. The study will utilise a mixed methods comprising of autoethnography, survey, and interview. Through autoethnography the researcher intends to investigate his own experiences working in guidance and counselling services in PNG. Next is the use of a survey questionnaire to gauge care-givers’ views about the scope and type of services currently provided in PNG and in Queensland schools. Finally, several pertinent individuals in PNG and the State of Queensland will be interviewed about guidance and counselling services in the respective countries with a view to exploring how services will need to change to better meet anticipated future requirements. The information is then distilled to make recommendations as to how guidance and counseling services in PNG schools might be transformed.
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